The Brooklyn Nets were shorthanded, and the Milwaukee Bucks were not. That was the storyline heading into this afternoon’s game, where the Bucks fumbled away what should have been an easy win over the Nets, 119-116.
Considering the state of the Nets, the prevailing thought was the Bucks could probably sleepwalk through this game and win easily. Seems like they may have thought that too.— Matt Velazquez (@Matt_Velazquez) August 4, 2020
So far, though, that's not what's happening. Nets close the 1st with a 10-0 run and lead, 40-34.
Giannis Antetokounmpo put up 16 points, 6 boards, and 4 rebounds in only 16 minutes, playing only in the first half. He did have a special visitor in virtual attendance, though!
Spotted: Giannis’ son in attendance as a virtual fan pic.twitter.com/hGR83LnOAc— NBA TV (@NBATV) August 4, 2020
Khris Middleton (8 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists) also played only 16 minutes, only in the first half. Brook Lopez didn’t play at all (coach’s decision), and in his return to play, Eric Bledsoe (8 points, 4 assists, in 18 minutes) definitely struggled. Likewise, Pat Connaughton (8 points, 5 boards, in 18 minutes) had his first game back and looked rusty but eventually settled into a groove. For Brooklyn, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot led the way with 26 points. One-time Buck Garrett Temple added 19 points.
The Bucks simply did not take this game seriously enough, and when it came down to the Milwaukee reserves playing against the amped-up Brooklyn reserves, the game was already lost. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not a crucial victory, but it is incredibly frustrating to see the Bucks lose in what used to be typical Bucks fashion.
Stat That Stood Out: 108
Between Brooklyn (57 attempts) and Milwaukee (51 attempts), the threes were flying fast and loose this afternoon. The Nets outscored the Bucks by 12 points from outside, once again showing how the variance introduced by high three-point frequency can put the Bucks into hot water.